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Telluride 2015: A Preview, Believe It or Not

With a festival like Colorado's own Telluride, the concept of writing a "preview" is more or less an anomaly compared to the likes of Toronto, Cannes, Venice, etc. For this delightfully sneaky cinema soiree, the films are planned as a surprise right up until game time, when the schedules are physically available. But a recently-released schedule proves any waiting has been worth it.

Showing at the festival this weekend will be "Steve Jobs," director Danny Boyle's take on the tech god, with Michael Fassbender donning the Apple guru's iconicblack turtleneck and jeans. The film will also be an occasion for a celebration of Boyle's work, as he will receive the Silver Medallion.

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Also set to be presented with the festival's honor is Rooney Mara, whose latest project "Carol," the Cannes sensation directed by Todd Haynes, will play the fest. Documentarian Adam Curtis will also be presented with the award and a celebration of his career's work will follow.

Per a release just received, here's a sampling of the new films that are coming to Telluride: Charlie Kaufman's "Anomalisa," Cary Fukuanga's "Beasts of No Nation," Sarah Gavron's "Sufragette," Laszlo Nemes' "Son of Saul," Kent Jones' "Hitchcock/Truffaut," Grímur Hákonarson's "Rams," Lenny Abrahamson's "Room," Scott Cooper's "Black Mass," Tom McCarthy's "Spotlight," Adam Curtis' "Brick Lake," Jafar Panahi's "Taxi," Davis Guggenheim's "He Named Me Malala," Xavier Giannoli's "Marguerite," Andrew Haigh's "45 Years," and more. That list doesn't include the sneak previews, which remain a mystery.

Scheduled for the revivals by guest director Rachel Kushner are "Ted Kotcheff's "Wake in Fright," Jean Eustache's "Mes Petites Amoureuses" and "The Mother and the Whore," Robert Frank's "Cocksucker Blues," Franceso Rosi's "The Mattei Affair," and a two-fer bill of Jean Renoir's "A Day in the Country" and Agnés Varda's "Uncle Yanco."

The final schedule for this program, including shorts and special presentations, will reportedly bring the film total 75 titles, touching upon 27 different countries.

Yours truly will be covering the festival for RogerEbert.com. In the marvel that is modern technology, I am writing this in the back of a shuttle van from the lovely Montrose, CO to the soon-to-be electrified Telluride. I originally thought about writing a preview piece for the festival without knowing what would for certain play; the title of "Preview for the 2015 Telluride Film Festival" a inside joke to anyone who knows how Telluride plays its rules differently, but still proves irresistible to people year after year who return to the land's high altitude.

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And even when writing this preview, I have no idea what the first press screening will be tomorrow afternoon, and won't know an hour before showtime.

But a lot can change in a morsel of time, or a shuttle flight. When boarding a little shuttle plane to Montrose from Denver's mile-long airport, I had only speculation about the fest (and quarterback Tom Brady was still in hot water for the now-overruled Deflategate). An hour or so later, the world is a tiny bit different, but I can hear two festival attendees chattering. They don't know what's playing the fest, but they know that's how Telluride does Telluride. Sitting behind them, muting my gasps at this schedule, I get it. This is a festival for people who don't care primarily what the title is, although this fest has plenty. They just want to see some good movies. Now, time to enjoy some scenery.

The Telluride Film Festival runs from September 4-7.

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